This woman of the sea would sun herself on rocks a good deal off the coast of the Jæruel for those few summer weeks when the clouds would part and the light stream in sharp contrast to the grey clouds in the distance.
One summer, she was caught in the nets of a fishing trawler, and dragged up on deck. The men were frightened by her until she spoke in their tongue, asking to be set free. They complied, and she thanked them and swam off, back to her rocks to sun. They returned to the rocks the next day and she was gone.
Later that season, she swam up to their vessel and warned them of an approaching storm. Turning back to shore, they returned in time to warn the rest of the town, which boarded up and weathered the storm with minimal damage.
The fishermen were branded heroes by their fellow citizens.
Rumor has it that fishermen still see her in those sunny summer weeks out there on the rocks.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged history, Jæruel, rumors by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
On level 2, most of the entrances to the rooms need to be approached through the hallways that line the outer walls. This means that the keep is dark on the inside, except when the torches are lit. These are found in the center of each of the hallways and hanging at the top of each stairwell. This floor is full of secrets, passageways leading to caches of items and information.
T1-T7 Towers: Each of the towers contains a small, wooden sitting chair at the top of a circular flight of stairs. The chairs face small windows through which guards keep watch on the surrounding countryside.
Hallways: The hallways between the towers are empty save torches in sconces which provide moderate light and decorative crossed swords behind wooden shields hastily painted with the logo of Dindle Keep. Spent torches are propped up against the wall. The exception is the hallway between T1 and T2, which features two guard chairs, one on each side of the door leading to 6, where the daughters are being kept under Silas’ orders, who fears that goblins will otherwise take them.
1 Master Chambers
The plushness of this room has faded with time. It appears the master has not kept up with recent trends which have swept the Jæruel, as the hardware is decades old. An unmade bed lies in the center of the room, the concave mattress showing signs of heavy use. On the floor in front of the bed is a brown bear rug. Under a colorful woven fabric, a wide armoire fills the eastern wall. An old dresser lines the southwest wall, its mirror rimmed with a black smudge.
The armoire is filled with dirty clothes. At the bottom are a leather belt with a fancy belt buckle and a pair of fur riding boots.
In the drawers of the dresser are an ornate dagger, a pouch of gold dust, and a small key. The key fits in a small, invisible keyhole in the west wall hidden by the dresser, which the party will find on a successful DC 30 search check combined with a detect invisibility spell. An 8’x5′ door opens inward once the key is placed in the keyhole and turned.
1a Secret Walk-in Closet
Chests line the walls, two deep. Hanging above the chests are ornate outfits from various events in a man’s life. Across from those are a set of outfits befitting a lady, from age eight to twenty-eight.
Creature: Babau (See MM page 40) Living here is Silas Dindle’s demon, Nadas Baran, or if you have the need to make this a more powerful encounter, substitute this demon for a marilith or other, more powerful demon. This demon will occasionally masquerade as a merchant, bringing ill news from the surrounding forests, and driving Silas into his fearful state. Nadas Baran’s minions bring plunder from surrounding lands, and this is traded for writs and other powerful pieces of paper. Nadas Baran’s ultimate goal is to lure Silas into conflict with the goblins on their terms, in their lands, or at least to convince him to send his guard out and leave the keep alone, so that he may acquire the keep.
Two of Silas’ seven guards work for Nadas Baran as do countless other merchants who operate both inside and outside the Jæruel merchant collective. Nadas Baran’s men are very loyal, and will fight on his side if he is challenged.
Silas knows nothing of this demon; Nadas Baran has been able to successfully hide from him and his men for months now, patiently running the operation of influencing Silas from the shadows.
Nadas Baran will only attack if the party has already explored much of the second floor of the keep. Otherwise, he will remain hidden until the dramatically-appropriate moment.
Treasure: various coins, gems, and jewelry totalling 2,500gp.
2 Interior Hall
This dimly-lit hall is lined with small paintings of rustic objects – a hoe, a still-life of fruit and a loaf of bread, and the portrit of a multi-generational family dressed to work the land. Sturdy-looking wooden doors lead in various directions and a man-sized mirror at the east end of the hall makes this room feel like it is larger than it is.
If the party studies the mirror in great detail, they will notice that along the frame is a latch. Flipping the latch, they are able to remove the mirror from the wall, where whoever removes it will need to make a DC 15 Balance or Strength check, due to the topheaviness of the mirror, or drop it and have it shatter. If it shatters, the various pieces attack the party as mirror shards (to follow in a future post).
In the space behind the mirror is a small archway hiding a makeshift closet.
2a Secret Hall Closet
A pile of papers fills this closet. Among them are many unsigned writs of passage and recommendations filled out in Silas’ name, as well as personal letters.
Treasure: scrolls full of information and unsigned writs. These can be sold or used to curry favor with other merchants and landowners. They would need to be signed and stamped with the Dindle seal to be made official.
The letters tell the story of Silas Dindle as a series of personal communiques. If the players read through these papers in depth, they will find out that Lady Dindle was the true keeper of the fortune, and that Silas took her surname in marriage. He once considered leaving her, but feared the wrath of her father. Then, when she took ill, he felt guilty for having considered divorce, and began to see his twin daughters as her, and thinkinghe was seeing double, began turning mad. The latest letters are written in an illegible hand.
It turns out these last letters have been written under the influence of his demon. They have, luckily, not been sent, but Nadas Baran is trying to get him to send them through legitimate channels to legitimize his claim to Dindle Keep.
3 Small Nursery
The walls are a pleasant color resembling a robin’s egg, which is slightly faded. Off to one side is one crib, and off in the room’s corner is another. The musty smell mixed with the stench of rotten eggs and the large amount of dust and cobwebs throughout the room indicates this room has not been used in years.
If the cribs are searched, down below the cobwebs which hang over them, they each contain a shiny, black egg with brown speckles. These are Babau eggs. Nadas Baran is already acting as if he owns the keep, turning this room into his nest.
4 Large Room
This room is set aside for children’s studies, with two desks facing opposite walls stacked with books.
Reading the books on local history and geography will improve the characters’ knowledge skills. If the party searches the desks closely enough, they will discover a small latch behind one of them. The latch opens a child-sized door leading to a secret cache.
4a Secret Cache
A bookcase is nestled into the corner, and a chest lies on the other end of this secret cache.
Treasure: Among the children’s books on the shelf is a minor tome of ensnarement. In the chest are various toys and dolls.
5 Long Room
This bedroom contains a bed, a chest of drawers, and a small chest serving as a footlocker at the end of the bed. A pile of rugs occupies the far end of the room.
One of the rugs contains a pack of rug rats (see future post), which rise up from the rug if anyone pulls the rug from the pile and steps upon it. The bed is normal. The chest of drawers is full of female young adult clothes.
6 Long Room
This chamber is sparsely decorated with a pair of cots, a small lantern on a wooden table. Two tomes lie open in the light.
This is where the daughters have been kept behind lock and key. They are still here, unless some other event has caused them to be moved. As the DM, use your judgment here. The books are fantasy novels that the daughters have been reading, something like Wuthering Heights but backdated to match your campaign world.
If the party is able to enter this room, they will have to have convinced Silas to let them speak with them (difficult), occupied or disabled the guards (moderate challenge), or used some form of magic or sneakery to accomplish the task (less difficult).
The daughters both know the story of what has transpired, but are unaware of much of the secret information found in 2a. They are both ready to escape the keep; living as captives in their home is unacceptable. However, because of their love for their father, they will want to help him first. Once he is freed of his demon, they will leave, Emmaigne with Lieutenant Hass and Antaigne with Captain Danus.
This bedroom contains a fine bed, a dresser, and an old rocking horse.
The bedpost farthest from the center of the room contains a small, hidden compartment, visible with a DC 30 Search check. Within the bedpost is a small scroll. Upon the scroll is a love note written in a finely-printed male hand.
The note is from the lieutenant, who is in love with one of the daughters. If pressed, he will admit this and beg the party to help him free her so they can leave this haunted place, even issue an order to the guards to let the party see the girls. He will help in the battle against the Babau if the party agrees to let the lovers leave.
The dresser contains a woman’s clothes, mostly dresses and floral tunics. The rocking horse is masterwork, built by one of the master wood workers of the Jæruel at his shop in Tannen.
7a Secret Cache
The dresser slides away, revealing a wood-paneled room. Weapons are stockpiled in this triangular room, stuffed haphazardly into the corners of the room.
Treasure:Among the weapons are a long sword +1 and a masterwork dagger. Both belong to the Dindle household.
8 Lieutenant’s Quarters
This neat room is sparsely decorated. The white sheets on the bed are clean and pressed. The keeper of this room is very organized. A lone armoire stands at the other end of the room.
Inside the armoire are two tunics and a jerkin, folded neatly. Hanging above them is a canvas uniform with multiple honors pinned upon the lapels. In the bottom of the armoire is a pair of leather sandals.
This is where Lieutenant Hass sleeps.
9 Captain of the Guard’s Quarters
The elements in this room are slightly dissheveled. Apparently the room is not regularly cared for as its 15’x15′ size deserves. The room is filled with wall-to-wall shelves, some open, some closed, some half-open, half-closed.
The open shelves reveal trophies from past battles, including chalices, small figurines, and other trinkets taken from the battlefield or potentially traded for. The closed shelves contain items considered more personal to the captain – clothing, a small, jade figurine, and various writs of passage and commendations from nobles across the Jæruel.
This is where Captain Danus sleeps. He has been troubled of late by needing to follow his liege’s orders to imprison his love, Antaigne in 6.
10 Head Archer’s Quarters
This room is decorated with a collection of feathers from various flying and non-flying avians. Used bows are hung on the wall, trophies of battles past. Leather straps and bowstrings are scattered atop the desk which serves as a workbench for a bowyer.
The head archer keeps watch not far from this room (hallway between T3 and T4), where he can see down over the south-facing cliff that faces the road below, so if the party spends much time here, he will come and watch them as they peruse his items. He also has a few uncommon items for trade if the barter is right.
Pernice is one of the more accurate archers in the Jæruel, and has worked for their organization for some time. He secretly works for the Jæruel administration in Tannen and has been stationed in Dindle Keep to keep watch on Silas. The Jæruel seeks an excuse to have him arrested so that they may take control of the keep. In this, Pernice is not evil, he is merely serving his true master. For this, he is well paid. he carries an official writ from the Jæruel which grants him the authority to make arrests in their name.
This will lead to a tense moment that the party gets to involve themselves in. Once the action reaches the climax, where Nadas Baran is exposed, Pernice will attempt to haul Silas off to Tannen, citing treacherous behavior. Of course, he has committed no crime, so this is a false accusation. The discussion will be handled in the follow-up post, The Story of Silas Dindle (part two), coming soon!
(To reiterate, the conclusion of Silas Dindle’s story is to follow in a later post!)
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged Jæruel, keep, Location by Stephen Hilderbrand with 1 comment.
The party will arrive from the trail to the south, having had the guards in the toll houses far below signal up that they en route on business. This trail wraps around the front of the keep, which is inaccessible from the side facing the road.
Note of course that if the party is caught stealing anything or is deemed dangerous and unfriendly by Silas, the guards will attack the party, taking custody of them, and preparing them for delivery to Jæruel headquarters in Tannen.
If the party decides to sneak into the keep at night, Silas will be sleeping up in his room, his daughters both awake and sending messages to one another through a series of taps on the walls. Guards will be posted in many of the towers, in the entry hall, and outside their three rooms, two for Silas, and one for each of his daughters.
Towers – each of the hexagonal towers contains a small bed a the bottom of a staircase leading up. There is no level to the keep below ground; the bedrock was too hard to easily build into when the keep was built over a hundred years ago.
1 Outside the Keep
The tall door leading into the keep is nestled in between two towers on the uphill side of the keep. Tight clusters of cypress line the walls in patches along a neatly-fitted brick and stone walkway. The tall door is emblazoned with the emblem of the profile of a woman’s head and shoulders on a deep yellow shield. A man in impressive field plate with the same emblem upon it steps forward, says “Ho!” and waits for the party to bow.
Once they do, he steps forward, introducing himself as Lanx and holding his arm out, pointing the way to the door.
2 Entrance Hall
As the party approaches, read the following:
The oversized door creaks on its hinges as it opens, leading into the keep from the uphill side. A man who introduces himself as Lanx bids the party, “Welcome to Dindle Keep. Keep your troubles outside!” As everyone steps through the door, two armed guards wield the heavy portal and latch it shut with a large caber. They turn to watch the party.
This moderately-sized room is lined with short bookshelves. Atop the shelves are various houseplants taken from the fields and forests in the local region. Upon the walls are landscape oil and watercolor paintings of sunrises and sunsets in brilliant hues. A lone candelabra illuminates a table in the center of the room. A book lies open in the central reading chair.
The book is on the local folklore, containing small, hand-drawn maps from storytellers. There are annotations pencilled into the margins, and the names of places underlined.
In the early evenings, Silas retires to the study to improve his knowledge of history, geography, and religion. He will be found here if visited in the evening.
An impressive collection of books lines the walls of this room, the leather spines like the scales of a dragon. In the center of the room is a large table upon which rest a collection of maps.
If thoroughly searched, the party will find books on the local geography and history, which if studied, raise those skills by a point each.
Worn, humanoid statues occupy the two hard corners of the room, with the far walls coming together at 45 degree angles toward the rest of the keep. The stone ceiling rises another two feet above the floor to accommodate the tall statues.
The two statues have the emblem of the Dindle family etched in them. A careful inspection of the statues reveals small sets of wings on both of them, jutting out just past the shields slung over their backs. This hints at a relationship with the celestial.
6 Back Chamber
Passing under another large arch, the wooden ceiling lowers to a more normal height. A stone fireplace occupies the center of the exterior wall, with a gold leaf framed, life-sized oil rendition of a middle-aged man eerily staring out across the keep back toward the entrance.
7 Small Hall
Between two arches, modest paintings of former denizens of the keep find refuge in a dark corridor with wooden doors at either end.
Artistic renditions of multiple generations are represented in the frames. In a hidden alcove behind one of the paintings of the twin girls is a key ring with extra keys to each of their rooms (on Level 2).
8 Wide Hallway
Paintings of old relatives line this wide hallway, including as the most illuminated one, labeled “Lady Dindle.” Doors are set in opposite ends of the hall, and one is also set in the center of the hall. Three archways keep the hall fairly open-feeling, like the rest of the keep.
If the painting is studied in any detail, read the following:
Lady Dindle was an beautiful, yet austere woman. These traits come out in her appearance, with a scornful scowl scratching the surface of her glowing skin.
This moderately-sized closet is adorned with wood-paneled walls. Jacket, coats, mittens, hats, two sleds, tack, and other sundries are hung here on various metal hooks that jut from the walls.
Treasure: In the pocket of one of the jackets is a pair of gloves of storing.
10 Throne Room
Eight alabaster columns line the fine carpet leading up to a pair of sitting chairs etched with the Dindle arms.
If it is daytime, and there are guests in the keep, Silas will be here, providing them an audience. If Silas is here, he will be flanked by two guards armed with swords at their sides. Merchants pass through, bringing stories, which Silas is eager to hear. He has been known to reduce the toll on the road for those who provide him with quality entertainment. (more in a later post)
Treasure: A masterwork instrument called the Silverhorn hangs to the right side of the throne.
11 Dining Room
A large table is set in the center of the room, requiring everyone to walk along the walls to navigate the space. A large brass candelabra rests upon the table, illuminating the room in a warm glow. Along the floor, paralleling the impressive table, is a finely-woven rug.
Treasure: The rug is worth 1500gp, the candelabra 500gp.
Small tables and chairs are tastefully laid out in the room facing each other, with a simple rug in the center.
Treasure: There are a few loose coins in the seat of the chairs.
Years of caked on grease and other food cling to the walls, leaving them black toward the ceiling, where a tapered ceiling has led thousands of plumes of smoke out of the keep. A large oven and multiple stoves line the exterior brick walls of this room. Pots and pans hang suspended from the ceiling in the center of the room.
Various foodstuffs can be found throughout the kitchen.
This oddly-shaped, dusty room is full of large crates, barrels, and bags of flour and wheat. Tiny flour footprints lead in all directions.
Creature: There are 3 large rats in this room.
Treasure: A potion of charm person lies at the bottom of a crate otherwise full of hay.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged Jæruel, keep, Location by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
Lately Silas has been acting strange, insisting that his twin teenage daughters (who look only remotely alike) remain in his keep out of fear of having it overrun with goblins if they leave. It’s as if he sees them as guardians of the keep, though he employs a full retinue of soldiers to guard the keep itself. This has created some friction between him and his daughters, who wish to travel to Tannen to enjoy the prime of their youth. The Jæruel is beginning to threaten to step in if he is unable to gain control of the situation and explain why his daughters cannot leave the keep and why his men have been unable to provide escorts along the nearby roads. They too have been pressed into a new service, that of protecting the daughters so they can protect the keep.
Lady Dindle is long gone; she died during their birth some fifteen years ago. Silas has mourned her ever since. If the party visits the small graveyard at the rear of the castle, they will learn this, and her ghost will visit the party and tell her side of the story, a tale of wanting to keep her man happy while at the same time losing herself in him. They were unable to conceive, and instead she was impregnated by one of his god’s angels, giving birth to the half-angel beings that protect the keep. At least that’s her side of the story.
It turns out, they were able to conceive, but Lady Dindle died with the twin daughters, who were replaced with angels (Antaigne and Emmaigne) on earth due to Silas’ devout nature. Recent events, including his joining the Jæruel have led him to question his god and perform acts which are considered less devout by his god’s followers, including overtolling the local merchants and imprisoning a merchant who asked for one of his daughters’ hands (Emmaigne, the younger of the two) in marriage. The party will need to restore Silas’ faith by helping him perform a series of heroic deeds. This will enable him to retain the angels and thus his sense of fatherhood, and maintain a reason for living.
(map of the keep to follow in a later post)
Posted in Encounter and tagged campaign plotline, Jæruel by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
On the coast of the Jæruel, where the river meets the sea, lies Tannen (pronounced TAW-nen), a bustling seaport of a town built on sandy soil.
The larger, more established buildings of Tannen are of sandstone and light wood from the forests harvested upriver near the village of Ches.
The buildings on the capitol grounds are of carved alabaster, taken from the mines east of Alabaster. The humbling, white edifice in the center of the city lies on a 5-acre plot surrounded by formal gardens decorated with flowers from the farthest reaches of the Jæruel. This is truly where the goods of the Jæruel comes together in an impressive display of what a successful merchant collective (some would say oppressive) can accomplish.
Along the banks of the river Ches runs a short wall of sandbags to keep the river in its banks in rainier months. Within five feet of these walls rise the older and more ornately-decorated buildings made of old hardwoods, including the town hall, the Jæruel central offices, the two inns that made Tannen famous (Inn of Golden Meadows and The Lark’s Nest), Smullivan’s Emporium, and, where the river meets the sea, the shipyard, where ninety percent of the seaworthy vessels in the Jæruel are built.
The town blocks off the river are devoted to residences, including the mayor’s house and on a low hill the wealthy neighborhood inhabited entirely by those in executive positions within the Jæruel, retired merchants who now manage their personal matters from their estates.
The rest of the town is a hodge-podge of market squares, shops on lower levels, and residences rising in the second and third storeys.
* Capitol Grounds – large, new construction that towers over town hall
* Town Hall – a converted keep that predates the town
* Jæruel Central Offices – new constructions across the river
* Twin Lighthouses – one in north-town and one in south-town
* Smullivan’s Emporium – market for many items
* Inn of Golden Meadows – standard inn named for the surrounding countryside
* The Lark’s Nest – exotic inn, featuring delicasies and fine things
* the shipyard – busy, working-class district where the river actually meets the sea
This town has served as the center of government for the Jæruel since the central offices of the merchant collective moved here two generations ago.
(to follow in later post)
The Jæruel hierarchy represents the most notable personas in town. Galway Froid (mayor), Fennel Chatwid (head consulate), and Zann Diacon (finance minister) are the highest-ranking officials in Tannen.
The innkeeper owner of the Lark’s Nest is a boistrous legend. Of foreign descent and well-traveled, he tells stories the way most men tell lies, with the upmost of ease. Chariz Muqatad is known throughout the Jæruel, and there are those who visit Tannen just to meet him and hear his stories. In the process, he listens to their stories, which he uses to continue to embellish his own tales.
J.P. Smullivan is a trader who has recently joined the Jæruel, electing to pay his membership dues rather than risk losing his business to the town guard. Though less-than-friendly to new faces, largely due to this pressure to join the Jæruel, he is aware of much that transpires in Tannen and thus represents a great source of knowledge. The key is getting him to share it.
Each of the executives in the wealthy district finance treasure hunting expeditions and each have constant need for couriers and escorts. In addition, the Meldor House is known for financing voyages inland, past Westfort into the mountains and plains beyond. Zane Meldor is a known eccentric, known for his misadventures in the brothels in Tannen’s slums. He is ailing, and has been convinced that the fungal cure for his illness lies west of Westfort.
Smullivan is always after new supplies, especially those of an exotic nature. He knows of certain individuals who possess such items, and runs a secret business trading such items. Interestingly, it seems he has thieves steal from one Jæruel or Tannen city official which he then sells to another, and so on. He is likely to hire a party with an experienced enough thief to acquire such items from the homes of the wealthy.
Chariz Muqatad needs a message delivered to his extended family back in the dry lands to the far south, across the Old Bay. He is willing to pay handsomely for the message’s delivery. The message itself is so important that it has been stuffed inside a chicken, and must be delivered while the chicken still lives. This is an age-old custom for communicating among his people.
Galway Froid’s daughter, Ammrie has gone missing. Rumor has it she is being held for ransom, but there is no official word on this. If the party inquires too directly in official circles, they are likely to be taken to the dungeons beneath the town hall, a converted keep that predates the rest of the city, for probing and questioning. Others who have relevant information include Chariz Muqatad, who said he overheard some of the kids joking about staging an abduction, and Smullivan, who sold a load of face paint and robes to some of the local teens. The real story is that Ammrie had her allowance cut back and so she and her friends decided to stage a kidnapping to collect the ransom. It turns out, however, that when a local thug heard of this, he took her from her friends, and now holds her in a cliffside camp overlooking the sea to the north of Tannen, where he awaits delivery of the ransom sum.
Once the teens are found, they will admit their part in the staging, and provide a description of the thug, who happens to be Thaddius Brewster, former employee of Smullivan’s. He used to lift large crates by himself and earned various nicknames for his feats of strength. If asked, Smullivan will mention Brewster’s departure from his shop lines up with the time of the supposed kidnapping. Once returned, the mayor will pay the party handsomely, though less than the original ransom. He is a shrewd merchant, after all!
The dungeons beneath the keep lead in various directions throughout the city. They are well-explored in the vicinity of the town jail; however, the secret, windy passages are said to hold more in store for an adventurous enough lot.
Posted in Encounter and tagged farghoal, Jæruel, Location, town by Stephen Hilderbrand with 1 comment.
On the coast of the Jæruel, south of Tannen, there is a rocky point that juts out into the sea. This was once the home of a great serpent that fed on the schools of fish that swam around the point, as well as the occasional human who made their way here off-course from their intended destinations. This lair serves as the undersea port down the cliff from the main town center.
The larger, more established buildings of Piran Point are hewn from the surrounding stone, a mix of limestone on the coast and granite further inland. More recent single-story buildings are of wood construction from the nearby oak, maple and pine forests.
At the top of the cliff, the town is laid out in a series of semicircles that run along the peninsula, the outermost being the poorest, and the region closest to the fresh water and woods the wealthiest. As the area was traditionally prone to piracy and attack by marauders, the wealthy moved farther and farther from the edge of the cliff, leaving their buildings unoccupied as they built increasingly more opulent estates inland. Because of this, there are various historic buildings that have been occupied by the working and non-working classes.
Encounters in this region include:
* low-scale thieves and pickpockets
* defensive family men
* various brawls and other pre-existing conflicts
Key locations elsewhere:
* St. Grisdon Square – where four churches come together in each of the cardinal directions
* Darkhouse Inn – featuring tinted windows; “what happens withinn stays within”
* Shelt’s Pelts – center of the halfling market
* Fishing Market – varieties of fish from varieties of merchants
* Town Hall – center of the village
This town has long been at the crossroads of merchants and rogues, lying within seven miles of three known robber barons, though this town has largely escaped their direct advances, as they have found the passersthrough along the broad roads more vulnerable and thus worth their effort. This has led to more armed caravans, which has reduced the frequency of their arrivals and departures.
Out at sea, there has been pirate activity as well, making Piran Point a refuge for travellers both by land and sea. Sea trade has mostly ended, the merchant vessels converted to fishing ships. Those vessels which sail into Piran Point are escorted by larger galleons decked out with many arms.
(to follow in later post)
Piran Point is home to several merchant families of the Jæruel. Elton Thistlewood runs the local chapter of the merchant house, aided by Jossathon Radvell and Saldon Thede. Each keeps control over their own region of the merchant quarter.
Reverend Marden and Brother Sandis run the Cathedral of St. Grisdon, by far the largest of the four churches in the center of the town. In it, sermons to the words of the dearly-departed Grisdon, worshipper of a merchant-sect of Pelor’s younger brother Geld, and creator of the ten virtues of trade.
Tristega Thistlewood has split from her family and opened up a profitable business dealing in black market goods. Her father seeks to bring her back into the fold, and is willing to pay anyone willing to help convince her of this. The Radvells and Thedes have since made a play for power, realizing this distraction leaves the Thistlewoods vulnerable to infiltration and unable to rightly control their holdings across the town.
With this infighting among the merchant class, the streets have seen a rise in crime, the unorganized type that leads to confusion in the masses. Many poor have taken to picking the pockets of others, especially wandering parties. Of course, this news has not yet reached the lips of anyone in this town; why would they, when they profit from the unspoken truth.
The St. Grisdon sect of Geld has grown in influence among the more lawful-minded citizens of Piran Point, and can be called upon to assist the party if they uphold the ten virtues of trade. Tristega Thistlewood anonymously attends the sermons in the cathedral, and is a devout follower of St. Grisdon’s teachings.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged farghoal, Jæruel, Location, town by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
Village: AL LN; 1,200gp limit; Assets 700,000gp; Population 520; Mixed (75% human, 15% half-orc, 5% dwarf, 5% other)
Alabaster rests along the western edge of a vast rocky plateau. Men and half-orcs have dug mines deep into the rock and have excavated alabaster from its core, hence the town’s name.
The rocks are moved south to Junction and north to Trover and the other regions of the Jæruel. The merchants of Alabaster are also known for their stained glass.
Due to the abundance of alabaster in the area, the wooden homes are all adorned with small walls and cornerstones of alabaster. The town hall in the center of the village is built entirely of alabaster, with tall spires and large arches that the large slabs of carved stone allow.
The town is completely built around the idea of mining the stone along the eastern edge of the village, and all the main roads run along its edge. Smaller roads that lead to the homes of miners and the small amount of services run west along Broadsword St. from this eastern edge. The rest of the town sprawls over the vast expanse of the plains from there, mostly along Jæruel Loop. A cluster of servant quarters provides the buffer from the main town to the wealthier homes. Some of the wealthier stone homes on the west edge of the village are an acre or more apart.
Two guard towers manned by 5 level 3 guards watch over the western plains, and a garrison of 25 Jæruel militiamen led by a level 7 fighter stands on a small hill in the north part of the village.
The dwarves which have chosen to live in the town, as they are well-paid consultants to the miners, live nestled in the rock near the mines.
Edmund Van Riggle: a level 8 noble, mayor of Alabaster and local Jæruel minister. Edmund lives in the westernmost wealthy residence with his brother.
Tarn Snagfoot: a lvl 6 half-orc mining foreman that rules over the half-orcs in town. Tarn lives in the largest house in the Half-orc camp on the northern edge of town. He has two 4th level bodyguards who are always at his side.
Finn Van Riggle: a level 8 mage from the Phyloctæte.
The miners of Alabaster are a tough, yet on the whole a lawful bunch. They enjoy the long hours honing their craft, and are well compensated, since the alabaster fetches a hefty sum in the neighboring towns. They are also a devout group, the humans worshipping Kord and the orcs Luthic in two large cathedrals in the center of town. Though there is a slight divide between the groups, they each know each other’s roles in their prosperity, so they limit their trash talking to their own social circles.
The intrigue in Alabaster stems from the displacement of the non-mining locals, as well as the distinct lack of women in the town. There are no families, and the only women are those who serve the men’s carnal desires. This leads to occasional outbursts of violence over them, as certain miner feel under-compensated in the flesh department.
In addition, there are multiple shafts which are off limits to many of the miners. There are rumors that something other than alabaster has been found there, and there are certain miners which have been picked to work the night shift to extract whatever this substance is.
There are also rumors of mages visiting the mines under cover of darkness. Certain perceptive and superstitious miners have put he two together and fear the worst. A mage by the name on Finn Van Riggle (brother of the mayor) has recently moved to the village and is staying in his brother’s large home on the west end of town. There are those who say he takes the form of a large black cat in order to explore the region at night.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged Jæruel, Location, village by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
Junction lies along the road from the Jæruel to the Cyrűk Mountains and into Northbay. The walled town has 3,000 inhabitants, many of whom moved to the town relatively recently. The town is still expanding along with its walls, so there is much housing still under construction along the edges of town. Junction enjoys a relatively high standard of living, as there is much abundant produce and rolling fields for cattle to graze upon in the area, and nice stone that is mined in Alabaster to the north. Fish stream in from the coastal town of Uppwint the southeast.
Junction serves as the main hub of the trade route from the Cyrűk Mountains to the Jæruel, and part of its wealth has developed through the high tariffs imposed by the local Jæruel officials. These official live in the southeast of town in a gated community.
The buildings in Junction are mostly made of wood. Much of the mansions in the wealthy quarter have stone foundations and parts of walls made of stone. The city hall and older buildings along Market St. are made of stone. Parts of the city walls are stone — 5 feet every 10 foot section of wall. Much of this stone was brought in from Alabaster to the north, though some was quarried a few miles northeast of Junction.
Market Street runs east-west in the center of the walled city. Local merchants without a permanent shop set up each morning along this thoroughfare which is much wider than the streets in the rest of the town. Guard towers are prominent features in this town of local militia. All the troops report to the Jæruel who very clearly run the town.
Justice Street runs north-south from Market St. to the North Gate. The Temple of Justice sits at the corner of Justice and Market. Thieves are usually sent to the temple to repent before being tried.
The southeast quadrant of the town is the wealthy residential area known as Sunnlunt. Eight large mansions occupy the space, each with its own stables. Shrines line the main roads into the quadrant, filled with scenes painted from humanized images of Garl Glittergold.
The northeast is home to the arena. Many people live in this part of town, including warriors and small-time merchants who sell wares in and around the arena during events. There is also a temple to the god of war along Market St. To the east end of Market St., East Gate overlooks Fish Square, where the fresh catch is brought in from Uppwint and other, smaller fishing villages along the coast.
The north central part of town is known as the Jæruel district. This is where the city hall, the temple of justice and the Jæruel administrative buildings can be found. The quarters in this part of town are equivalent to decent merchant homes. Guards stationed at the North Gate keep watch over Pork Square, home of the famous pig auctions.
The southwest district is known as the Merchant quarter, named because it is home to many successful merchants, as well as a temple and the Climbing Rose Inn. The homes are fairly well cared for and there is only moderate crime. The West Gate overlooks Apple Square, where much produce enters the city.
If not for the troops stationed in this part of town, the northwest would perhaps be a sketchy part of town. In addition, given the walled nature of the city, crime is not as rampant as one would expect for a population of nearly 3,000, over 4,000 on the heavier trading days, and 5,000 during the first market days of the lunar cycle.
1 Justice Temple of Hieroneous
2 Peace Temple of Fharlanghn
3 War Temple to Kord
4 Druid Temple to Ehlonna
5 Various Shrines
6 Town Hall
7 Trade Winds Oak (south side of Town Hall)
9 Merchant Museum
a Luxord Manor
b Dwenton Manor
c Tynold Manor
d Swansyd Manor
e Jarlsbyd Manor
f Hox Manor
g Antol Manor
h Tanebrux Manor
A Apple Square
F Fish Square
i Market Inn
J Jæruel Square
M Mercantile Square
o The Three ‘N’ Blankets
P Pork Square
r The Climbing Rose
T Small Taverns
v Warrior Guild
w Mage Houses
x Training Grounds
y Magic Shop
z Jæruel Quarters
The buildings outside the town walls are barns and farmhouses. On the north end of the town are pig stalls and to the northwest is Eggelt Farms, where chickens are raised and vegetables grown.
Junction is a town of many merchants. They live decent lives selling their wares and keeping the populace well fed. Farmers come to town and sell produce most days of the week, and with the constant influx of travellers, the inns remain at least half full, and the visitors meander about the markets in the morning hours before setting off for adventure. When the weather is favorable, there is much music and dance in the streets, but when it rains, the people are glum, moping about in the taverns and waiting out the weather.
There is a slight feeling of inequity among the poorer workers in town. When the ruling Jæruel officials parade along Market St. or show themselves in the arena, the people eye them suspiciously. Foreigners are welcomed as long as they are strong warriors. The people of Junction can’t stand weakness — they’ve worked too hard to stand it.
Jæruel leaders administering Junction:
These posts will follow.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged Jæruel, Location, town by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
The Utok’nmazakhi (aka Utok, pronounced oo-talk) are a tribe of native settlers of the Jæruel. Their caves line the ridges on the western edge of the region, and their ruins dot the plains below, no longer inhabited. One ring of settlements survives somehow miraculously in the alabaster cliffs to the east of the town of Alabaster.
As the human settlers moved into the area, the Utok were relegated to the regions where humans found it too difficult or costly to settle. They have adapted to life in the mountains, owing in part to their relationships with bears, and their superior hunting abilities. They make excellent archers, receiving a +2 bonus on all attacks with bows.
The Utok have been known to skirmish with hobgoblins and mountain wyndm-folk in order to protect what little land they have left. They revere bears, and often offer them food as a form of worship. When bears come to the Utok caves to die, the Utok take their hides. It is considered the highest honor and privilege for Utok to acquire bearskins.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, Utok have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Utok base land speed is 30 feet, and their adaptation to the mountains means that they travel at normal speed through all the various terrains in the Jæruel.
• 1 extra nature-based feat at 1st level.
• 4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Utok languages, and some have contact with Mountain Wyndm. Bonus Languages: Any. See the Speak Language skill.
• Favored Class: Any, except monk. When determining whether a multi-class Utok takes an experience point penalty, his or her highest-level class does not count. Most Utok are rangers or druids.
• Favored alignment: Lawful Neutral
• Unique Languages: Utok.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged Jæruel, race or culture by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
The Jæruel is a collection of fishing villages, mining towns, and tradespeople united under a merchant flag with three intersecting rings in the center over a brown backdrop with a sinister silver bend from the upper right to the lower left. The towns are officially independent, but they follow the lead provided by Tannen. The Jæruel merchant house which provides the name for the region is much more hierarchical, keeping strong hold over the markets in each of the towns, especially those higher up in the power structure. The only standing army is privately run by the merchants of the Jæruel.
The towns and villages of Jæruel:
– Tannen – capital of Jæruel – bustling port town – what Onuago was built after – full of hides and wines other goods from all over the Jæruel (5,000)
– Piran Point – fishing and trading village (920)
– Flego – fishing village (400)
– Uppwint – named for the strong winds that bring fog and quick shifts in the weather to this quaint fishing village (200)
– Trover – fishing town (400)
– Alabaster – inland named for the stone mined from its cliffs (500)
– Junction – a “middle man’s” town at the intersection of trade routes (3,000)
– Himas – a stop on the path of produce to market in Junction (200)
– Franti – wine production, source of Franti grapes (600)
– Furton – wine production, source of Furton grapes, also furs all sent to Tannen (800)
– Ches (pronounced Shez) – fresh water fishing along a broad bend in the river (400)
– Westfort – a fort-like outpost in the mountains to the west of Tannen and Ches that provides hides and timber (200)
Small settlements are developing in the lands to the west of Franti and Furton, but they have not taken significant shape. Some of them have met with ruin due to various invaders — bandits, goblins, and even nefarious pixies getting in on the raiding action.
Posted in Region and tagged Jæruel, Location by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.